The Italian Air Force on Thursday 25 February celebrated the entry into operational service of their first AgustaWestland HH-101A Caesar helicopter during an official ceremony at Cervia airbase. Out of a total of 15 HH-101As, four have already been delivered from the Finmeccanica Helicopter Division’s assembly line in Yeovil (UK).
The new chopper will be Italy’s designated Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) and special forces platforms. The Caesars will also support regular search and rescue (SAR), medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) and slow mover intercept operations.
Today’s entry into service also marks the true replacement of the HH-3F in Italy, a helicopter that performed SAR and CSAR missions earlier and was retired in 2014.
© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: From the cockpit. (Image © AgustaWestland)